PPM Sponsor Offers Strategy: Marketing Manager Specialists

Staff MembersAs we fast approach the end of season 5 at PPM Soccer, it’s time to start thinking about preparing for the off-season, and the end of season sponsorship offers.

Specifically, one key factor your team will need are two good quality managers, specifically trained in marketing.

From the guide: 2. Marketing – this attribute indicates the ability to negotiate better contracts with general and media sponsors.

Depending on your managing style you will already have managers, so the question is how good are they, and how big an impact will they have on your potential offers?

My suggestion is to train or buy off the market 2 managers specifically trained in marketing (attribute 2). There are always plenty of managers on the market, but the prices tend to increase the closer to the end of the season we get, so i recommend you start looking now.

What are your thoughts on this strategy? Do you do something different? Leave your thoughts below.

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Is Your PPM Soccer Keeper A Head Above The Rest?

How much do you pay attention to how you train your keeper on your Powerplay Manager soccer team? As with most team sports, a good keeper can make or break a season for your team.

The guide suggests that technique and speed have a major influence on a goalies skill, and the passing and head attributes have a small, or little influence. But the guide is just that, a “guide”. Research done by others and myself however suggests that the head attribute may have a much larger influence on a keeper than many believe.

Edwin Van Der Sar makes a saveThe “head” attribute influences a players ability to play the ball off the head, which also means a players ability to jump for the ball. So the argument could be made that the head attribute could also influence a keepers ability to jump for the ball to make a catch or save.

Do you think top flight keepers like Manchester United’s Edwin Van Der Sar (right) don’t train in jumping? Of course they do.

Which brings me to the attributes themselves, and the ratio allegedly best used. The most common attribute used for goalies at PPM is 4-3-3-1-1. This is based purely on the suggestion in the guide as I mentioned at the top of this article. I believe however that a goalie performs better if the head attribute is increased to 50% of the primary, which would lead to a 4-3-3-1-2 attribute ratio (goal-tech-speed-pass-head). Does this mean the guide is incorrect? Not at all. PPM make it clear that the guide is a reference only, not a “set in stone” sure fire way to train your players.

Something to think about next time you train your keepers.

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New To PPM Football? An Introduction To Soccer Formations

Soccer is among the worlds most played sports. As you can imagine, there are a great number of managers on PPM who actively play the soccer manager game. There are however, also a great number of hockey people who are getting involved in the soccer game who naturally have loads of questions. One of the more common questions has to do with formations.

So, what exactly “are” formations?

The term formation refers to how your players are positioned on the playing field. A field is divided into 3 primary zones; Offensive, Midfield and defensive. Each of those zones is then divided into 3 areas, 2 wings (left and right) and a center. When describing a formation, the order is Defensive-Midfield-Offensive, and represented by numbers defining how many players in each zone. For example if you had 4 defenders, 4 midfielders and 2 attackers, you would describe that as 4-4-2.

Soccer Formations

Common Formations

The most basic of combinations is the 4-4-2 formation where you have 4 defenders, 4 midfielders and 2 attackers. This gives you a well balanced game.

Another common formation is 4-3-3. This one gives you strong defense and a powerful attack but does leave you very weak in the midfield. This formation is popular if you have a few very strong midfield players.

A less popular formation is to run with 3 defenders, which gives you an offensively minded playing style. 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 are the 2 best options if you opt to go with this formation, however make sure you have good quality defenders if you’re going against a stronger team.

Advanced Formations

Once you get more comfortable with the idea of formations you can start to play with the more advanced formations. these often require training your players a certain way.

The most common style of advanced formation is to split the center midfiend zone into 2, where you have midfield defense and midfield attack. Quite often managers will train midfielders with high shooting and technique and use them as an attacking midfielder. The same goes if you train defense in midfielders, and put them into the center midfield defense position. This gives you more options in the midfield as you can have your midfield staggered to cover more of the field. When you do this, you end up with a 5 positioned formation such as 4-1-2-1-2 (4 defense, 1 midfield defense, 2 side midfield, 1 midfield attack and 2 attackers).

My Soccer Formation using multi-midfield positions
This is a 4-1-2-1-2 formation using midfield attack and midfield defensive positions

You can also stagger your attack and defensive players so your wing defenders are positioned slightly closer to the midfield zone, or have your wingers back on the end-line and your center defenders up a bit. As you may have guessed, you can essentially use any formation that you so wish.

At PPM the field positions you have available are varied, as you can see from the image of my current football formation above. This is the 4-1-2-1-2 formation that I previously mentioned.

Winning games is about having good players and playing good formations. If you have a team with weak midfielders, play a formation that puts more strength in the midfield (ie. more players). If you have incredibly strong midfielders but weak defenderrs, look to play 4 or even 5 defenders and only 3 midfielders.

As with everything PPM related, trial and error is the best way to play the game. You might be surprised just how much better your team can be if you find the perfect formation for your players.

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Managers Breathe Again As PPM Soccer Season 3 Ends

If there was a song for each day, todays would have to be Queen’s “Another one bites the dust”. That’s because another hard season of soccer is over at Powerplay Manager, or at least, over for the majority of managers. There are still relegation and promotion rounds to play of course, so some teams are still very much in the midst of serious footy battles.

One of the key elements to season 3 to me was the development of my young players. I finally started to see the results of 3 seasons of hard work and careful training. It showed with my team, Trueblue F.C. coming first in the Oceania Div I.1 league and my center striker, Thomas Hartge finishing the season with 66 goals; the best in my league.

How did you do?

Season 4 will bring new challenges for all of us. I fully expect PPM to “tweak” the game engine prior to the start of the new season which could change how well our players act on the field or how our training regimes affect a players ability.

Until that though, enjoy the off-season. If you’re still involved in relegation / promotion rounds good luck in your upcoming matches.

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Looking Ahead To Season 3 Of PPM Soccer

PPM Soccer is now 2 seasons old, and what once was an infant with teething issues has started to grow into a well behaved, although sometimes frustrating, toddler.

Now that 2 seasons have passed, we’ve been able to get a pretty good basis of data to see what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be avoided at all costs. More importantly however, it’s given us time to build our facilities and start serious analysis of other teams; analysis that helps us get an even better understanding of what works.

But season 3 isn’t all about analysis and crying toddlers. No. PPM is a game, so first and foremost, season 3 needs to be about having FUN. Unfortunately, i see too many people on the PPM forums who forget that this is a game and get a little too serious at times. Sure, losing sucks, but keep in mind that when you win, someone else has to lose. That’s part of the game. Bad losses happen, even in real life.

There has been a nice addition for Pro users this coming season by way of the Automatic Training system. This is a ratio based system that will automatically train your players to any ratio that you choose, training the attributes that are furtherest away from where they should be. This is a new feature, so i encourage all pro users to TEST is thoroughly before using it on your whole team. Not all managers will like it, but from what I can see, it’s pretty good. I created a video on youtube (also on this site) which introduces it.

Trueblue United Football Club Update

T.U.F.C. had a tough challenge in season 2. After winning the Oceania I.1 league in season 1, they had to defend that title last season, and did fairly well for most of the season. With just a few weeks left in the season they were in the top 3, with just 1 point separating all 3 teams. In the end however they ended up dropping to 4th at the end of the season. They did very well however by defeating the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the National Cup, to come out as victors, so next season they will be entering the Cup Winners Tournament as the #1 ranked team for their region. A big upgrade to the forward line came with star striker Tenis Pujacs coming over from Latvia. Pujacs has been playing incredibly well in friendly games alongside home-grown striker Thomas Hartge.

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PPM: Random, Chance And The Perfect Play

A while back I wrote an article that explained why “random” does not exist at Powerplay Manager. The debate still rages on the PPM forums however, that there is too much “random” in the game.

So, I wanted to take a few minutes to explain this idea of “chance” a little further.

As i’d previously stated, the PPM match results in both hockey and soccer are made up of hundreds of individual scenarios, each with more than one possible result. A shooter takes a shot, he either scores or misses, etc etc so on and so forth. The game result itself is not generated from a single calculation, but rather a multitude of single-scenario ones. It appears that this is where people get confused on this issue, as all too often we hear that Team A with more stars lost to Team B with fewer stars. Well, stars mean nothing when it comes to the game engine, they’re simply a visual depiction of a teams “overall” strength. But overall strength is irrelevant when it comes to a forward taking on a defender, or a winger on a breakaway.

The following is a typical scenario in PPM soccer. I am using soccer in the example simply because the live game was only a few hours back and it’s fresh in my mind. In the live game, the text would show something similar to:

Player A runs the ball and comes up against a defender, he flips the ball one way, goes the other way and then takes on the goalie. He shoots, and the goalie makes a save but concedes a corner.

A scenario seen in most football matches the world over.

Let’s break this down.

Calculation #1: Forward vs Defender

The game will look at the forward and take into account his attributes, experience, chemistry etc. It will then look at the defender and take into account his attributes, energy, experience etc. If home-field advantage is used, that is added to the calculation to strengthen one of the players odds of winning the one on one battle. In this scenario the forward, who has higher skills and is the better player walks around the defender. End of calculation.

Calculation #2: Forward vs Goalie

Like above, the system will now run a whole new calculation using the attributes, energy, experience etc of both the forward and the goalie and works out what chances each player has of either scoring or making the save. Does the shooter miss the net? Does the goalie catch the ball? does the goalie save it but concede a corner? There are multiple scenarios all worked out in this gigantic couldren of chance. The shooter strikes the ball, the goalie gets a hand to it, but it’s a corner. End of calculation.

As this was a corner, we now need a new calculation:

Caltulation #3: Corner kick-taker Vs Offensive Team Vs Defensive Team Vs Goalie

I’m not going to explain this one, but you get the idea of how it would work.

The Weak Team Beating Strong Team “Random” Argument

The biggest beef I have with people on the forums is when they say “Team A is a lot weaker, it should not have won”. I say to you, why?

Say for example you have Team A who has an overall star rating of 13 going up against a stronger team with an overall star rating of 17. Should the 17 team win every time? No, that would be unrealistic because weak teams DO win against stronger teams in real life.

But, what happens if that weak team happens to have 1… just 1 truly superstar player, who himself has an OR of 250, perfect EOR and EQ (read the forums for explanations) and a great shot. If that guy gets the ball, chances are he’s better than the defenders or the goalie on Team B. The calculations therefore are going to give him a good chance of scoring the goal. Now if he happens to get the ball 5 times during a game he might get 2 shots away and score on both of them. Going the other way Team A may have 4 “good” defenders who managed to shut down Team B’s scorers. All of a sudden you have a game that might end 2-0 to the seemingly weaker team.

The thing is, while the team may be weaker overall, the system does not look at the results as a single calculation. So, please, you need to take into account the individuals plays involved before assuming a team should have one or lost.

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